Sunday Moments

October 25, 2020
Time after Pentecost


This week we are using the Lectionary 30, Time after Pentecost readings today but we will also remember Reformation Day. On Saturday, October 31, our prayer of the day on Facebook and on our Calumet website will include prayers specifically for Reformation Day.

Today’s readings are pertinent to what we are experiencing in our country today with the coronavirus, racial unrest, wildfires in the west, and the days leading up to our nation’s upcoming election.

Jesus’ summary of the law in today’s gospel echoes our first reading from Leviticus. We are called not only to love God with heart, soul, and mind, but also to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is out of such deep care that Paul shares the gospel with the Thessalonian community. In the confession of sins, we acknowledge that we have not loved God, neighbor, and self; yet we gather to hear the word of forgiveness and to be strengthened by word (and in pre-pandemic times…the meal) to be signs of God’s love and mercy in the world.

Confession and Forgiveness

Faithful God,
have mercy on us.
We confess that we are captive to sin
and cannot free ourselves.
We turn from your loving embrace
and go our own ways.
We pass judgment on one another
before examining ourselves.
We place our own needs before those of our neighbors.
We keep your gift of salvation to ourselves.
Make us humble, cast away our transgressions,
and turn us again to life in you
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


God hears the cries of all who call out in need,
and through his death and resurrection,
Christ has made us his own.
Hear the truth that God proclaims:
Our sins are forgiven in the name of ☩ Jesus Christ.
Led by the Holy Spirit, live in freedom and newness
to do God’s work in the world.
Amen.

Gathering Song The Love Round

Start your day with the joyful sounds of campers and staff from our sister Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Site, Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center in Port Murray, New Jersey as they sing “The Love Round.”

Greeting

Holy people of God,
called through the gospel of Christ,
enlightened by the Spirit:
grace, mercy, and peace
be with you all.
And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

O Lord God, you are the holy lawgiver,
you are the salvation of your people.
By your Spirit renew us in your covenant of love,
and train us to care tenderly for all our neighbors,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

First Bible Reading
Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18

The Holiness Code in Leviticus urges people to be holy because God is holy. Holiness is lived out as God’s people exercise justice and love in their dealings with one another. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

  Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

  You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

  You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Second Bible Reading
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Paul uses maternal imagery to depict the caring and nurturing relationship he shares with the Thessalonian Christians. When he first came to their city it was not to benefit himself but to share the gospel with them, which was his responsibility as an apostle of Christ.

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

Gospel
Matthew 22:34-46

Put on the spot by the Pharisees, Jesus displays wisdom by summarizing the law of God in just two commandments and by demonstrating the Messiah must be more than the son of David.

When the Pharisees heard that [Jesus] had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

  Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,

 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
 “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?
If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Thought for the Day

Today’s reflection on the text is offered by Gordon Lathrop, from the ELCA Worship in the Home Blog during Covid-19.

Two principles mark the Christian way to read the Bible: First, loving God and neighbor is all the law. And second, the crucified Jesus Christ is Lord. But here is the deep truth, a truth we rightly repeat to our shame: “We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.” What shall we do? Where do we turn?

In the crucified and risen Jesus Christ we meet the very Lord who is holy, and here is his holiness: even more than Paul who was his follower, this Jesus shares with us his very own self, doing so in the word and, when we can come to it, in the supper. Forgiven by this gospel of God, we are made free in the Spirit to turn in love to our neighbor again. Such is the heart of any upcoming commemoration of the Reformation.

Song of the Day
Love the Lord

For more on the background of this worship song by the composer,
Lincoln Brewster, click here.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us offer our prayers to God.
A brief silence.

On this day commemorating the Reformation, O God, we pray:
that Christian churches around the globe
be reformed and renewed;
that ecumenical collaboration be widened and deepened;
and that Lutherans stand firm in the gift of the gospel. . .
Hear us, holy God:
Grant us your tender care.

Attending to the natural earth, O God, we pray:
that the seas and lands be cleansed of pollution;
that both rainstorms and droughts be moderated;
and that animals retain their habitat. . .
Hear us, steadfast God:
Grant us your tender care.

Aware of disorder around the world, O God, we pray:
that wars and armed terrorism cease;
that violent extremism everywhere be calmed;
that governments meet the needs of their poorest residents;
that the days before our election be peaceful;
and that all prejudice based on
gender, color, orientation or ethnicity be rejected. . .
Hear us, sovereign God:
Grant us your tender care.

Facing the coronavirus, O God, we pray:
that the pandemic and its anxieties subside;
that medical personnel and services be everywhere supported;
that any who are unemployed find work
and all who have been evicted finding housing;
and that a trustworthy vaccine be developed. . ..
Hear us, compassionate God:
Grant us your tender care.

Moved by the needs of all our neighbors, O God, we pray:
for those suffering from discrimination;
for those incarcerated or held in immigrant camps;
for farmworkers and their children;
for all who are hungry;
and for those we name here before you. . .
A brief silence.
Hear us, mothering God:
Grant us your tender care.

Thinking lastly of ourselves, O God, we pray:
that we be enabled to love our neighbors as ourselves,
and that you receive our personal petitions. . .
A brief silence.
Hear us, loving God:
Grant us your tender care.

Grateful for the lives of all who have died in the faith,
especially for all the people whose efforts
reformed and renewed the church, O God,
we pray that at the end we join with them in your glory:
Hear us, eternal God:
Grant us your tender care.

Enfold in your loving arms all for whom we pray,
as we trust in your might and your mercy,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen.

Blessing

Sisters, brothers, and siblings,
stand firm in one spirit;
strive side by side for the faith of the gospel;
let your gentleness be known by everyone;
and the God of peace,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be with you and bless you always.
Amen.

Sending Song
A MIghty Fortress


Dismissal

Go in peace.
Love one another.
Be signs of God’s love and mercy in the world.
Thanks be to God!

Sources:

Scripture readings and other liturgy adapted from 2020 edition of Sundays and Seasons, Annual License #SAS006505

(Part of the introduction), Thought for the Day and Prayers of Intercession from “ELCA Worship in the Home Blog” https://blogs.elca.org/worship/2909/

Greeting and Benediction from Sundays & Seasons © 2001 Augsburg Fortress, Annual License #SAS006505

previous sunday moments:


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Adopted by the Calumet Board of Directors October 12, 2006

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